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Santa Rosa CARE Ministry celebrates 10th anniversary

Six persons were honoured at the Santa Rosa CARE Ministry’s 10th Anniversary celebrations on November 4. This was at a reception in the El Patio Parish Hall, at the Santa Rosa RC Church, Arima.

Santa Rosa CARE Ministry is open to persons 50 years and over. The acronym CARE means: Compassionate, Active, Relevant, Evergreen.

Recognised at the 3 p.m. reception were Fr Raymond Francis, Shamagne and Gregory Bertrand, Hazel Reis, Eugenia Charles, and Andrietta Mora. Fr Francis then presided at the 6 p.m. Mass with Deacon Joachim Hernandez. The Mass was also part of the 10th anniversary celebration.

Launched in November 2013, Santa Rosa CARE Ministry members visit the sick, shut-ins, the hospital, and the prison. Members also seek to both contribute to the wider parish community and to participate in areas of personal interests.

Fr Francis, as a seminarian in November 2013, proposed to a group of parishioners the idea of forming an organisation to serve sick and shut-ins in the parish.

Shamagne Bertrand took up the challenge and led the charge in those early years (2013 – 2018) of the CARE Ministry. Shamagne was the livewire of the Ministry doing the job of six persons (Chairperson, Treasurer, Event Coordinator, and three Member Relations Officers – of course those posts did not exist at that time).

Shamagne’s husband, Gregory, was by her side providing support in all the activities and events of the Santa Rosa CARE Ministry in those early years. Hazel Reis developed a proposal for the Santa Rosa CARE Ministry to run a Homework Centre (HWC) for the boys’ and girls’ RC schools, Standards 1 to 3 pupils. This proposal was presented to the Parish Council under the then Parish Priest Msgr Allan Ventour.  Reis was present at the HWC from 2 to 5 p.m. (sometimes long after 5 p.m.), Monday to Friday.

Eugenia Charles was active in both prison visits and the HWC. She was part of a small group that worked on the HWC document at that time. Together with Reis, Charles committed her time every afternoon to the HWC and acted as Deputy Head for some time. She had other commitments which led her to discontinue her involvement with the HWC.

Andrietta ‘Pat’ Mora,  after Charles’ departure, was asked by Reis to head the HWC operations while Reis acted as Deputy Head. Both Reis and Mora committed their time from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday to the HWC operations until its forced closure due to the pandemic. —Louis Blake